19 Easy Make-Ahead Camping Recipes

Prep your meals and cook at home before you go camping

Cooking at the campground is simple and delicious with a few camping food essentials.
••• Cooking at the campground is simple and delicious with a few camping food essentials. Morsa Images/Getty Images

With our favorite make-ahead recipes you can prep dinners at home, pack your meals in the cooler, and go camping. If you don't want to spend a lot of time cooking and preparing meals at the campground you'll love our BBQ Pork Loin, Campfire Fajitas, or you-choose-the-ingredients Camping Foil Packs. These simple camping recipes are easy and delicious.

Once you are settled at your campsite you can heat up your meals or finish cooking at the campground.

Try some of these on your next camping getaway. 

Favorite Camping Recipes

  • Alan's Frozen Salad - Serve it frozen like ice cream.
  • Bean Soup - An original concoction made from food already in the pantry.
  • BBQ Pork Loin - This tasty dish requires some advance preparation at home, but very little work to serve it up at the campground.
  • Bikers Subs - This is a great make-ahead recipe for bikers, boaters, campers and anyone who wants a quick meal without all the work.
  • Broccoli Soup - A simple and delicious soup that requires less than an hour of cooking time.
  • Brownie S'mores - A yummy take on the camping classic using brownies instead of graham crackers.
  • Camp Beef Stew - Prepare at least a day before camping. While camping, your prep work is done and the stew can cook for 2-3 hours while you do other things!
  • Campfire Fajitas - The smoke from the campfire along with the liquid smoke make for a very unique (and quite delicious) combo.
  • Foil Packs - A scout favorite, try it the first night your camping trip.
  • Happy Campers' Cole Slaw - This recipe is well worth the extra preparation time.
  • Hash Mess with Eggs - It doesn't look too appetizing, but campers will love it.
  • Make-Ahead Egg Bake - A favorite for breakfast.
  • Potato Pancakes - Bring along some applesauce, and you have a complete and satisfying meal. This recipe can serve as a side dish or the main course, and there is nothing to refrigerate.
  • Shish Kabob Buffet - This recipe is a real crowd-pleaser. Lay out a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables so everyone can build their own kabobs. Great grill food, whether at the campground or in your back yard.
  • Sweet Slaw - This slaw keeps well in your cooler for a few days, so you can prepare this ahead of time at home. However, once it is tasted it won't last long.
  • T-Berry Salad - A camping favorite made with broccoli, cauliflower and bacon.
  • Tacos in a Bag - Originally discovered at a school fundraiser, these also work great for camping.
  • Tex-Mex Foil Dinner - This is a recipe you can make ahead at home and just put on the grill when you get to the campground.


Updated and Edited by Camping Expert Monica Prelle